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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
11th November 2016


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Please note that you are viewing an archived issue of The KBzine.

International News

New freestanding bath offered in several finishes

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Victoria + Albert Baths has announced its latest freestanding modern bath design - the Terrassa.

Named after the Spanish city province of Barcelona, the Terrassa features a synonymous rimless design taking many of its design cues from the Barcelona bath, one of the company's most popular designs found in hotels worldwide.

The contours of the bath are highlighted by smart, sculpted 'swage' details on the inside, creating unique shadows to emphasise the Terrassa's distinctive shape.

Comprehensive grab rail range can't be beaten

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Inclusive bathroom solutions supplier AKW offers a comprehensive range of grab rails in many configurations for installation as a mobility support in bathrooms, particularly for the elderly and disabled.

'Spa-luxe' bathroom heating by Vogue (UK)

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Lavish spa interiors are now entering households on a much grander scale, just as couture fashion has hit the UK high street. In answer, Vogue (UK) presents its range of deluxe contemporary heating solutions with Stendy and Stendy Quad - epitomising spa-luxe design in the home.

Introducing the Esteem monobloc kitchen tap

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Abode added 16 stylishly designed kitchen taps to its portfolio, at KBB earlier this year. All of these new, practical taps are now available through Abode's distributor partners and can be purchased from specialist kitchen outlets on the high street, nationwide.

One of the latest products to be launched is the contemporary styled Esteem monobloc.

Neolith Polished - a real winner!

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Neolith Polished finish by Spanish Sintered Compact Surface manufacturer TheSize has received the Plus X Award seal of approval for Innovation, High Quality, Design, and Functionality. The company has also been presented with the Materialica Design + Technology Gold Award Certificate in the Surface & Technology category.

New and improved spec for Prima Brand

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The Prima Appliances, Sinks & Taps Collection, exclusive to distributor PJH, has been upgraded and a higher specification range launches next month.

Franke's Cristallo tap features a distinctive angular design

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The minimalist aesthetics of the new Cristallo from Franke's Specialist Range make it a versatile tap for both traditional and contemporary kitchen designs.

The Cristallo features upright paddle levers and the popular U-shaped spout. The spout sits flush with its striking cylindrical body to give it a distinctively angular, yet streamlined, design.

Scona and KA 90: luxurious, seamless and contemporary

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With the Scona shower programme, Kaldewei is now able to meet almost any size requirement and installation type for modern, low level showering.

Welcome to the




If you’ve been reading this column since John Austen & I took over the reins from our friends Richard and Debbie Schwarz, you’ll already be aware that I’m a big advocate of industry associations – not only from a consumer’s point of view but also for anyone in the trade; be they fitters, craftspeople, suppliers/retailers or the manufacturers themselves.

As a consumer, you’ll know that (generally) your service provider or supplier will have had to meet specific and often strict criteria to be able to join the trade body in the first place and that with some associations, members will have had to virtually jump through hoops for access to that all important membership card.

If anything goes wrong with your job or your new furniture or equipment, you’ll know that you’re not on your own and will be able to contact the relevant trade body for advice or conciliation – and in some cases, some real help.

And as someone in the trade, your membership means that you’ll attract custom you might otherwise not have enjoyed, from people who’ll only do business with a member of a reputable organisation. And if the worst comes to the worst, you’ll be able to call on the association for support over issues you may face with regard to your customers.

What better way to illustrate some aspects of what I’m saying than with the statement issued this week by The British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installation, pledging support for members who may be worried about their livelihoods as a result of Betta Living having to call in the administrators this week (see below for more information).

What makes it even better is that this support is being offered to non-members too…

There are a lot of ‘one man bands’ working in this industry, who have families to feed and mortgages and bills to pay. The comfort provided by such an offer must be invaluable under the circumstances, so well done BiKBBI CEO Damian Walters and the team for offering to get involved.

I understand that Betta Living’s administrators are already talking to people who may be willing to invest in the company, so let’s hope we can bring you some better news on that in next week’s issue.


This Week's News

Betta Living temporarily ceases trading

Dean House, trading as Betta Living - the Oldham, Lancs-based kitchen and bedroom specialist retailer, announced on Tuesday that is to temporarily cease trading.

Administrators in the form of FRP Advisory have been appointed and are currently reviewing the company's financial position, whilst marketing the business and assets for sale. They say they "will consider any offers received" and that they are "currently in discussions with a number of parties and are hopeful of securing a deal that sees the existing order book fulfilled".

Steel Cucine joins KBBG boosting range of suppliers available to members

* ENFASI.jpgWith the continued expansion of the Kitchen Bathroom Buying Group, Steel Cucine is welcomed to the ever growing list of suppliers available to members.

Steel Cucine is a premium Italian appliance manufacturer with a long family heritage. In 1922, in Carpi, near Bologna, Angelo Po's craftsmanship in stainless steel helped produce the first hand-made stoves and later, the production of high quality, commercial, appliances for restaurants.

Plumbers merchants market forecast to increase by 4% in 2016

* AMA-Research-plumbers.jpgThe plumbers merchant market was worth an estimated £4bn in 2015, having recovered strongly in recent years. The market value declined during 2011/12, reaching a low point in 2012.

TLW | The Lightworks cuts UK prices to counter Brexit concerns

* TheLightworks.jpgIn the wake of the perceived Brexit fallout where companies have used the upcoming EU exit as an excuse to raise their prices, innovative lighting distributor TLW | The Lightworks has taken a different and significant approach by reducing prices for a number of its core products for at least the next six months.

Up to 20% has been slashed off the company's popular LED cabinet lighting and associated kits, while TLW's popular LED tape and 12v drivers have also seen their prices cut by around 15% to help retailers keep their prices down in the aftermath of June's shock EU vote.

Utopia launches new-look brochure

* Utopia-MAIN-PIC.jpgUtopia Bathrooms' latest brochure has a brand new format designed to inspire and assist end-consumers planning and selecting a new bathroom.

The 196-page brochure guides the consumer on their journey from initial browsing, through to a step-by-step guide and checklist to their dream bathroom. At the same time, it reinforces and promotes the specialist knowledge and experience that the independent retailer offers.

Roper Rhodes invests £10m in new, state-of-the-art, National Distribution Centre

Bath-based Roper Rhodes has invested £10m in a new national distribution centre, following a number of years of double-digit growth across all the company's brands - Roper Rhodes, Laura Ashley Bathroom Collection, R2, Tavistock and Trade.

In the last four years the family-owned business has grown by 50%, resulting in the requirement for more space to help accommodate this - as well as future, growth.

Lakes Bathrooms opens new warehouse

* Lakes-outside.jpgShower enclosure specialist, Lakes Bathrooms, has opened a new 70,000sq.ft warehouse in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, to expand and spread capacity from the existing 100,000sq.ft facility at its headquarters in Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire.

This distribution hub will house around £1million-worth of stock, including all PureVueHD products in the Coastline and Classic Collection, to mirror the comprehensive HQ stockholding.

F & P bolsters building and plumbing expertise by welcoming new category manager

* Gary-FandP.jpgF & P, Primaflow & Connections, a leading UK distributor of plumbing, heating and bathroom materials, has appointed Gary Shields as the new category manager for bathrooms and fires.

Gary joins F & P with nearly 10 years' experience in the trade sector and over 10 years in the retail sector, having previously worked as a buying manager for Homebase and as a bathrooms category manager in the plumbing industry.

Tembé DIY and Building Products raises £11,000 for Children with Cancer UK

* TembeDIY.jpgDoncaster based Tembé DIY and Building Products raises £11,000 for Children with Cancer, with the money going towards research into finding cures and providing care for children with cancer. For every promotional pack of Hippo Heavy Duty Trade Wipes sold, Tembé DIY and Building Products raises £11,000 for Children with Cancer UK donated 50p to Children with Cancer.

Guy Malam, managing director of Tembé DIY & Building Products, Kevin Heath, sales director, Neil Herd, Andrew Baker, (marketing directors) and Victoria Nicholson attended a cheque presentation at Children with Cancer UK's head office in Great Ormond Street, London last week with Francesca Borrelli from Children with Cancer UK.

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How to contact us at The KBzine:
Jan Hobbs
Publishing Editor
Email:[email protected]
Tel: +44 (0)1372 811 307 
Mobile: 07980 288 373





John Austen
Publishing Director
Email:[email protected]
Tel: +44 (0)1580 755 863
Mobile: 07766 707 888
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Recent News

Now officially the best of British: iKBBI

The Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installers announced yesterday that it had been granted permission, by The Secretary of State, to change its name with immediate effect. The organisation is now to be known as The British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installation.

British Ceramic Tile represents manufacturing alongside Philip Hammond in The Parliamentary Review

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British Ceramic Tile has been selected to appear in the 2015/16 edition of The Parliamentary Review . Established by former minister The Rt Hon David Curry shortly after the 2010 general election, The Parliamentary Review's September release has become a key fixture in the political calendar.

Self-build consumer confidence high at London Homebuilding & Renovating Show

The capital city's largest self-build event, The London Homebuilding & Renovating Show, sponsored by Anglian Home Improvements, (23-25 September, ExCeL, London) experienced a 11% year-on-year increase in visitors and those questioned stated that they were prepared to spend up to £123,000 on their property plans despite the prediction that Brexit would cause uncertainty and slow down the market - a 2% increase in spend from 2015.


InSinkErator appoints new marketing manager, Europe and Russia

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InSinkErator has announced the appointment of Denise Lordache to marketing manager, Europe and Russia.


Roman launches new brochures

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Roman has published new Showroom Guide brochures, which introduce updates on existing products and exciting new products launching in 2017.

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